The Wild Card Round was, well, wild.

The Buffalo Bills and Cleveland Browns ended long postseason droughts, while the Los Angeles Rams and Baltimore Ravens impressed as they produced upset results on the road.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady made sure the Tampa Bay Buccaneers progressed, securing a showdown with Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints that will be an all-NFC South battle between starting quarterbacks with a combined age is 85.

As for the Kansas City Chiefs, the reigning Super Bowl champions - along with NFC top seeds the Green Bay Packers - prepare to return to action after a well-earned bye week.

A four-game schedule has all the potential for another bumper weekend of NFL action, with fans watching on to found out who will be the final four left standing in the playoffs.

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers - Saturday, 4.35pm (all times Eastern)

- The Rams are the only current NFC team with an all-time winning record against the Packers (46-45-2), but they have lost five of the previous six and 11 of the past 15 meetings. Green Bay, meanwhile, earned the No.1 seed in the conference for just the third time in their history.

- Aaron Rodgers posted the second-highest passer rating in NFL history this season (121.5), trailing only his own 122.5 in 2011, when he was voted the league's MVP. Rodgers had six games with four or more touchdown passes and zero interceptions, tying the most in a season all-time (Peyton Manning in 2013). In Rodgers' playoff career, the Packers are 8-1 when he does not throw an interception - but 2-7 when he does.

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills - Saturday, 8.15pm

- Baltimore (191.9) and Tennessee (168.1) finished first and second in the NFL in rushing yards per game in the regular season, but the Ravens out-rushed the Titans 236-51 last week to progress. Lamar Jackson ran for 136 of them, the third most ever by a quarterback in a playoff game.

- Josh Allen completed 26 of 35 passes in the Wild Card win over the Indianapolis Colts (74.0 per cent), the highest completion percentage by a Bills starting QB in a playoff game. Allen also became the fifth player in NFL history with a passing TD, a rushing TD and a receiving TD in the playoffs, joining Freeman McNeil, Kordell Stewart, Julian Edelman and Nick Foles.

Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday, 3.05pm

- This is the first postseason game between the teams. The Chiefs have won the past three meetings, most recently on November 4, 2018 (37-21). In fact, Cleveland have not beaten Kansas City since December 2012, while they have triumphed at Arrowhead only once in the past 32 seasons (December 2009).

- Against the Steelers, Baker Mayfield became the seventh player in league history to throw at least three TD passes without an interception in his postseason debut. Only one other player has done this in the previous 15 years (Alex Smith in 2011). He goes up against Patrick Mahomes, who has accounted for 16 total touchdowns – 13 TD passes and three rushing scores – in five postseason outings.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints - Sunday, 6.40pm

- This will be the 59th all-time meeting of these franchises, albeit the first in the postseason. The Saints have won five straight in the rivalry, outscoring the Bucs by a combined 165-81 during that streak.

- Brady's two touchdown passes against the Washington Football Team moved his career postseason total to 75, while the victory was his 31st in 42 career playoff starts. In the entire NFL, only five teams have as many as 31 postseason wins in their history. Brady (341) and Saints QB Brees (303) rank first and third respectively in career starts among quarterbacks, regular season and playoffs combined.

The New York Jets have reached an agreement in principle with San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to become their head coach.

Saleh will become the Jets' 20th head coach, taking the helm after Adam Gase was fired earlier this month.

The 41-year-old joined the 49ers in 2017 after previous spells in the NFL with the Houston Texans, Seattle Seahawks and Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Jets confirmed on Thursday they had "agreed in principle" for Saleh to become head coach.

ESPN reported Saleh was expected to make 49ers passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur his offensive coordinator at the Jets.

Defensively, the 49ers ranked fifth for total yards allowed (5,030), seventh in rushing yards (1,703) and fourth in passing yards (3,327) in 2020.

The Jets, who last reached the playoffs in 2010, finished the 2020 season with a 2-14 record.

Tom Brady spoke of his respect for Drew Brees ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' playoff clash against the New Orleans Saints.

Brady, 43, and Brees, 42, meet in the NFC Divisional Round at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Sunday.

The Buccaneers quarterback said he had plenty of respect for former Super Bowl winner Brees, who made his debut in 2001 – a year after Brady.

"He's a lot younger than me – he's 18 months younger than me – 18 months ago I felt pretty good, so I've got a little advanced age on him – and experience," Brady told a news conference.

"I'm hanging in there. He's had a terrific year. He's a great player – I've known him for a long time. I've always had a great amount of respect for him going all the way back to his Purdue days. My room-mate when I first got to the [New England] Patriots was from Purdue and was really good friends with Drew.

"I always just kept up with him and have gotten to know him somewhat well over the years. I just think so much of him as a person and as a player.

"I know what it takes to do what he's doing [and] he knows what it takes to do what I'm doing. I think there's just a lot of mutual respect."

While Brees has been with the Saints since 2006, Brady is in his first season with the Buccaneers.

Brady (341) and Brees (303) rank first and third in career starts among quarterbacks, regular season and playoffs combined, ahead of Sunday's clash.

The Saints won the NFC South for the fourth straight season and Brady praised New Orleans.

"They won the division, they're a great football team, [have] great coaches, a great system [and] so many great players," he said.

"Their defense is phenomenal – a top-five defense, basically, in every category. Great rush, great cover linebackers, they blitz well, a lot of continuity in the secondary [and] a lot of ballhawks in the secondary.

"They've been one of the top teams in the league for a long time and they've had some tough playoff losses [on] some really fluke plays. Other than that, there's not a lot of bad about this team. They're pretty spectacular."

Urban Meyer has landed his first NFL head coach role with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Meyer, one of the most successful coaches in college football history, was confirmed as the successor to Doug Marrone on Thursday.

Marrone was fired this month by Jaguars owner Shad Khan after overseeing the franchise's worst ever season, which they finished with a 1-15 record.

Meyer has been charged with the task of restoring some pride following that dismal campaign.

The 56-year-old has coached Bowling Green, Utah, Florida and Ohio State at college level.

He masterminded two national title triumphs, in the 2006 and 2008 seasons, and was also a champion with Ohio State in the 2014 campaign.

Meyer boasts a college coaching record of 187-32 and now has the opportunity to take charge of Jacksonville.

Marrone left the Jaguars after four full seasons as head coach, but an inability to find consistent quarterback play and the gradual disintegration of a talented defense led to a steep decline.

They won their first game of the 2020 season but then lost the following 15 to finish with the worst record in the NFL and with the top pick in the 2021 draft, which the Jags are almost certain to use on Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.

The Detroit Lions have found a rookie general manager after Brad Holmes ended a long association with the Los Angeles Rams to take the key post.

Holmes, 41, also assumes the position of executive vice president after leaving the Rams, where he served as director of college scouting.

He takes over the role that had stood vacant since Bob Quinn was fired on November 28, when head coach Matt Patricia was also dismissed.

A full-time successor to Patricia has yet to be appointed, but the key front office role is now filled as Holmes takes up his most senior post yet, reportedly on a five-year deal.

The Lions (5-11) finished bottom of the NFC North in 2020, as they now have for three consecutive seasons, and principal owner and chairman Sheila Ford Hamp said Holmes had made an immediately positive impression.

"On behalf of the entire Lions organisation, I am thrilled to welcome Brad Holmes to Detroit," she said.

"Several weeks ago, when we embarked on this process, it was critical that we find the right person to fit our vision for this team. It was evident early on that Brad is a proven leader who is ready for this opportunity. We are thrilled to introduce him to our fans as a member of our football family."

The Lions were reported to have considered an array of candidates, some of whom had GM experience in the NFL, including Thomas Dimitroff and Scott Pioli.

Rod Wood, the CEO and team president, said Holmes "stood out immediately" because of his commitment to using data to identify emerging talent.

"His abilities as a critical thinker, along with his extensive experience implementing technology and analytics into his approach to scouting, were among the many decisive qualities Brad displayed in our time getting to know him during the interview process," Wood said.

"We look forward to him helping lead our organisation as we take the next steps as a team."

Holmes had been with the Rams since joining as a public relations intern in 2003. He soon joined the scouting staff and was appointed in 2013 to the role he has vacated to switch allegiance.

The Rams will pick up a third-round draft pick for each of the next two years as compensation for losing Holmes, NFL.com said.

Jared Goff will start at quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams in their NFC divisional round playoff game against the Green Bay Packers on Saturday.

Regular QB Goff has not started since the Rams' Week 16 defeat to the Seattle Seahawks, having undergone surgery on his thumb.

However, John Wolford, who played in Week 17 and then again in the playoff opener against Seattle, took a blow to the head in the postseason Seahawks game.

Wolford was not able to return – with Goff required to step up, still nursing his thumb – and the 25-year-old has now been ruled out against the Packers, the team confirmed on Thursday.

That means a return for Goff, who completed just nine of 19 passes from the bench last time out but threw for a touchdown and no interceptions in an upset win.

The former first overall pick has failed to convince since a dismal Super Bowl defeat at the end of the 2018 season.

Goff was rewarded for that playoff run with a new $134million contract, including a then-record $110m in guarantees, yet he has thrown 29 picks over the subsequent two campaigns.

Meanwhile, the Week 17 win over the Arizona Cardinals was Wolford's NFL bow and he put up 231 passing yards and another 56 over the ground, despite one interception.

With Wolford not involved at all against Green Bay this week, Blake Bortles is in line to serve as back-up to Goff.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced the departure of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner as part of a coaching restructure in the aftermath of their playoff exit. 

Pittsburgh started the regular season with 11 straight wins but laboured in the closing weeks, eventually finishing the regular season with a 12-4 record to top the AFC North. 

Their Super Bowl hopes were then ended early by the Cleveland Browns. Despite having home advantage, the Steelers were unable to recover from an appalling first quarter that saw them give up 28 points, eventually losing 48-37 to their divisional rivals. 

Head coach Mike Tomlin had promised to make changes when speaking to the media on Wednesday, leading to Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley all being told their contracts would not be renewed. 

"I want to thank all three of the coaches for their commitment and dedication to the Pittsburgh Steelers," Tomlin said in a statement.  

"They have all played integral roles in our success and I am appreciative of their efforts. Personally, Randy and I have been in Pittsburgh since I hired him in 2007, but our relationship began well before that.  

"He has been a friend of mine for years and wish his family nothing but the best, and I am eternally grateful for our relationship both on and off the field." 

Fichtner had previously served in roles coaching Pittsburgh's wide receivers and quarterbacks before taking over as offensive coordinator in 2018. 

Pittsburgh averaged 334.6 yards per game during the 2020 regular season, though their total of 1,351 rushing yards ranked their running game dead last in the NFL. 

The changes may not be restricted to just the coaching staff, either. The future of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger - who has a year remaining on his contract - remains unclear, though he hinted after the postseason defeat to the Browns that he would like to come back next season.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said it is "reasonable to assume there is a chance" that star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return in 2021 after the team's disappointing playoff exit.

Roethlisberger was not ready to discuss his future after the Steelers surprisingly lost to the Cleveland Browns in last week's NFL Wild Card clash.

The 38-year-old has spent his entire professional career in Pittsburgh, where he has become a franchise pillar and guided the Steelers to two Super Bowl triumphs.

But question marks emerged following the Browns defeat after Roethlisberger threw four interceptions – finishing 47-of-68 passing for 501 yards and four touchdowns.

Roethlisberger has one year remaining on his contract worth $41.2million and when asked about the six-time Pro Bowler, Tomlin told reporters on Wednesday: "I don't have a clear assessment of the overall impact of the cap ramifications, so I might not have a direct answer to your question.

"But I think it is reasonable to assume there is a chance that he will be back, certainly. The depths of the ramifications of the cap discussions, I am not privy to as I sit here right now."

Led by Roethlisberger, the Steelers opened the season 11-0 but he and Pittsburgh faded dramatically.

Roethlisberger finished his 17th season ranked third in completions (399), 16th in yards (3,803), tied for seventh in touchdowns (33) and tied for eighth for fewest interceptions (10).

"We haven't made any decisions about any of our personnel along those lines," said Tomlin. "All of those discussions are interrelated, and we are just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of what 2021 looks like in terms of the makeup of our team and the issues relative to it.

"In regard to Ben, I can't say enough about his performance this year. With the uncertainly coming off of injury, and particularly not having an opportunity to perform in preseason games and so forth, there really was a high level of concern about his health and his ability to perform. I can't say enough about his efforts. I can't say enough about the efforts of our medical staff and our rehabilitation staff that worked hand in hand with him to get him to that process and get him to stadiums this year.

"I was more than pleased with the performance of his health and his ability to stay up. In terms of the quality of his play and our play, we'll begin to assess that in the upcoming days, but in terms of him responding to the challenges that he specifically came into the season ready to face, spectacular."

Drew Brees and Tom Brady have proven age is just a number in the NFL and the superstar duo have continued to poke fun at each other ahead of the blockbuster showdown.

Brees – who celebrates his 42nd birthday on Friday – will lead the New Orleans Saints against the 43-year-old Brady and his Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC Divisional Round on Sunday.

It will be the first playoff game since at least 1950 between the top two players in career passing touchdowns, while it will be the second postseason encounter since 1950 between the top two players in career passing yards.

Six-time Super Bowl champion Brady has taken a light-hearted approach this week after sharing a meme via Twitter, which depicted the two all-time great quarterbacks as older men set for battle on the History Channel.

Asked about the viral meme, Super Bowl winner Brees joked with reporters on Wednesday: "Unfortunately, they made me look like the dad from Family Ties. I didn't like the hairline. I'll be honest, I would have liked a little thicker head of hair. I mean, I know I'm getting older and probably losing a little bit, but I would have liked a little more hair up top. I've never really been able to grow a beard.

"So maybe that's what I've got later on in my future. Maybe I'll get a nice, good, thick beard going. But I thought it was hilarious."

Brees added: "Listen, I think, Tom and I have a friendship and mutual respect. We were texting back and forth on Monday just kind of chuckling at this whole scenario, right? Listen, he's 43. I turn 42 on Friday. So that's 85 years and a lot of football experience that's going to be on the field on Sunday.

"When Tom Brady signed with the Bucs and I knew that he was coming to our division, I envisioned this game. So what was that nine months ago, eight months ago, I envisioned this game happening because I knew our aspirations as a team, to be in the playoffs and beyond. 

"And I certainly knew what he was bringing to the Bucs and that talented roster. And so I think this is probably where we all envisioned being at this point in season."

Brady (341) and Brees (303) rank first and third in career starts among quarterbacks, regular season and playoffs combined, per Stats Perform.

Meanwhile, Brady's two touchdown passes against the Washington Football Team on Saturday brought his career postseason total to 75, and the victory was his 31st in 42 career playoff starts. Of the league's 32 current franchises, only five of them have as many as 31 postseason wins in their history.

"Tom and I have known each other for a long time and been playing against each other since 1999. Maybe before a lot of guys that we're on the field with were born," Brees continued.

"So I think, there's a friendship there. There's a mutual respect there. I think we have a lot of things in common. A lot of things that we both value and appreciate that are very much the same."

This will be the 59th all-time meeting between the franchises and the first time they will square off in the postseason. The Saints have won five straight games against the Buccaneers, outscoring Tampa Bay by a combined 165-81.

Tampa Bay's 38-3 loss to New Orleans in Week 9 was the most one-sided defeat by a playoff team in 2020.

The Denver Broncos have hired Geroge Paton as their new general manager.

Paton steps into the role after Broncos legend John Elway ceded control of the front office this month.

Previously vice president of football operations/general manager, Elway stepped down from the GM role after the Broncos missed the playoffs for the fifth successive season in 2020.

And the Broncos have turned to Paton, formerly vice president of player personnel/assistant general manager for the Minnesota Vikings, as his successor.

Paton spent 14 seasons in the Vikings' front office and Elway believes he is more worthy of stepping up to the lead role for the Broncos.

Elway, now president of football operations, said: "Early in this process, it became clear why George has been such a coveted GM candidate for so many years.

"He is a proven evaluator who knows every detail of leading football operations. With his experience in all aspects of the job - the college and pro sides, salary cap, trades, working with the head coach and bringing the staff together - George is more than ready to succeed in this role.

"George has waited and worked for the right opportunity, which shows that he is smart and serious about winning. We're thrilled to name George Paton as general manager of the Denver Broncos."

Paton added: "It is an honour to be named general manager of an iconic franchise with a championship tradition like the Denver Broncos.

"This organisation has great resources, tremendous people, a talented young core of players and an outstanding coaching staff.

"In many ways, I feel like this team is a sleeping giant. For me, it is the right place and the right time for this opportunity.

"While it is difficult to leave the Vikings, the relationships I enjoyed in Minnesota are for life. I am truly grateful for the Wilf family, Rick Spielman, Rob Brzezinski, Mike Zimmer and the entire Vikings organisation. Thank you for treating us like family.

"I believe in hard work, the grind and not taking any shortcuts to achieve our goals. Drafting and developing players is the number one priority. We will be aggressive - but not reckless - in adding talent to our roster."

The biggest decision Paton faces this offseason surrounds how the Broncos will move forward at quarterback.

Drew Lock, a second-round pick in 2019, endured a disappointing 2020 campaign, completing just over 57 per cent of his passes and throwing 16 touchdown passes along with 15 interceptions, the highest number of picks in the NFL.

Lock's struggles were seen as the latest example of Elway's inability to find a replacement for Peyton Manning, with whom Denver won the Super Bowl in the 2015 season, the last in which they made the playoffs. For a talented roster to realise its potential, Paton must succeed where Elway failed.

It will be an offseason of change for the Chicago Bears after Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano announced his retirement from coaching, while quarterback moves are expected.

Pagano served as Bears DC for the final two seasons of a 36-year coaching career.

He was Indianapolis Colts Head Coach for six seasons between 2012 and 2017, making the playoffs for the first three of those years.

Pagano, 60, spent 18 years coaching in college and the next 18 in various NFL roles.

"After 36 years of coaching the game I love, I have decided to retire from the National Football League," Pagano said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I'd like to sincerely thank the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips, Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy for the opportunity to be a part of such an amazing organization.

"Also, many thanks to the Irsay family and the Colts organization. 

"I am forever grateful to that community and to the support they have always given me both on and off the field.

"I'd also like to thank all the coaches, players and staff throughout my career. Thank you will never be enough to express my gratitude.

"As much as I love coaching, it takes a lot of time away from your family and loved ones.

"I'm excited to start this new chapter of my life and can't wait to be able to spend more time with my family. This has been an amazing ride and I have made countless relationships that I will cherish forever."

Pagano's announcement came after general manager Pace revealed everything was on the table at the QB position.

The Bears made the playoffs despite stumbling to an 8-8 record in 2020, though they were promptly eliminated by the New Orleans Saints on Wildcard Weekend.

Former number two overall pick Mitchell Trubisky is hoping to return but is scheduled to become a free agent after the team previously declined his fifth-year option.

While that draft selection does not appear to have panned out, a trade for Super Bowl champion Nick Foles failed to have the desired effect either.

"We definitely need more out of the [QB] position," Pace said. "We know that. What does that entail? That's what this whole offseason is about.

"Everything is on the table right now. You do learn and improve through experiences.

"I can confidently say I'm a lot better at this with each year of experience." 

Trubisky was 20th in the NFL among qualifying quarterbacks with a passer rating of 93.5 in 2020, while Foles (80.8) was 29th in the same category.

Matt Nagy was named Coach of the Year in 2018 but consecutive 8-8 seasons have he and Pace under pressure to make the most of a strong all-round roster, something which could be possible with better options under center.

The Seattle Seahawks have signed executive vice-president and general manager John Schneider to a contract extension through the 2027 draft.

Schneider has been in the position since 2010, playing an instrumental role in constructing a Seahawks team that have been perennial contenders over the past 10 years.

His selection of quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round of the 2012 draft proved a masterstroke, while Schneider also drafted Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and Bobby Wagner, all of whom became key figures in Seattle's legendary 'Legion of Boom' defense.

The Seahawks made successive Super Bowl appearances in the 2013 and 2014 seasons thanks to that core, winning their first and only NFL championship with a rout of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.

More recently, Schneider has shown his acumen as a talent evaluator with his second-round selection of wide receiver DK Metcalf in 2019. Metcalf broke a franchise record for receiving yardage with 1,303 in the 2020 season and also caught 10 touchdowns.

With his track record, it is no surprise that the Detroit Lions were reportedly interested in luring Schneider from Seattle.

But he has committed his future to the Seahawks, with Jody Allen, chair of the Seahawks, saying: "For the last decade, John and head coach Pete Carroll have formed a tremendous partnership and the Seahawks have established a successful, unique, and truly winning culture respected throughout sports. I know we are all excited to see that continue."

Carroll was recently signed to an extension through the 2025 season.

The Seahawks won the NFC West title in 2020 but suffered a Wild Card round loss to division rivals the Los Angeles Rams last Saturday.

Veteran Indianapolis Colts tackle Anthony Castonzo has announced his retirement from the NFL.

Castonzo has called it a career after 10 years with the Colts, having been selected in the first round of the 2011 draft.

He started all of his 144 regular-season games and eight postseason appearances.

"As a kid, it was my dream to play in the NFL. I played my first full season of tackle football in second grade. Now I have played my last," Castonzo said in a statement.

"As I sit here now, after a 10-year NFL career, I am extremely proud of all the hard work and sacrifice that allowed me to evolve that dream into a goal, and ultimately into a reality unlike anything I could have even imagined.

"I was fortunate to have been drafted by the Colts 10 years ago. I was even more fortunate to spend my entire career here in Indianapolis.

"The Indianapolis Colts is a special organisation with special ownership who fill the organisation with special people at every level. I truly believe this is the best organisation in all of sports. I am lucky to have been able to call myself a Colt for the past 10 years and will consider myself a Colt for the rest of my life.

"I have given much to the game of football, but it has given me so much more. I close the book on the football chapter of my life gifted with memories and moments I wouldn't trade for anything. So thank you, last but far from least, to football."

Castonzo's retirement at the age of 32 gives the Colts another need to address in the offseason, with finding his successor at left tackle likely now a priority for general manager Chris Ballard.

It is not clear whether quarterback Philip Rivers, who led the Colts to the playoffs in his first season with the team, only to be beaten in Saturday's Wild Card clash with the Buffalo Bills, will play on for another year or join Castonzo in retirement.

LeBron James and Patrick Mahomes were among the stars to wax lyrical over DeVonta Smith, who said Alabama "finished writing our story" in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

Heisman trophy winner Smith was in sensational form at Hard Rock Stadium in top-ranked Alabama's (13-0) 52-24 rout of Ohio State (7-1) on Monday.

The exciting wide receiver, who is NFL bound for the 2021 season, had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half as Alabama claimed a 35-17 lead at the interval.

The 22-year-old recorded 200-plus receiving yards and three or more touchdown catches for the third time this season, tying Davante Adams (2013) for the most such games by any FBS player in the last 25 seasons, according to Stats Perform.

Smith also broke the South Eastern Conference's single-season receiving yards record as he was named Offensive Most Valuable Player.

What was most impressive is the fact Smith missed the majority of the second half with a right hand injury, though he said after the game "I'll be alright" when asked about the issue.

Speaking about the achievement, in quotes reported by ESPN, Smith said: "It came down to the young guys just putting in the work, every day, every week, knowing if somebody went down, they were going to have to come in and do something big. 

"I believed in them from the jump. That's what we do, that is why you come to Bama.

"Just with COVID and everything going on it made things tough, made us more together as a team, be there for each other. This team is like no other.

"It's been an unbelievable [season]. We just finished writing our story, that was the whole thing of us coming back, just finishing the story that we wanted to write and we did that."

Social media was abuzz watching Smith's performance, with Los Angeles Lakers superstar James hailing the youngster on Twitter.

"DeVonte Smith is one of the best pure receivers I've ever watched! Like a mix between Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison. Man he's good!" James wrote.

Mahomes, who led the Kansas City Chiefs to Super Bowl glory last season, merely posted: "Lol they just need to put like everybody on him".

After seeing his record tied, Adams joked: "From now on if u misspell my name make sure it’s Devonta cuz he that boy."

J.J. Watt added: "DeVonta is going crazyyyyyy!!!!!!!"

The win saw head coach Nick Saban win a seventh college title, surpassing Paul Bryant for the most national championships, with six of those titles coming during his 14 seasons at the helm of Alabama.

Nick Saban stands alone as the most successful head coach in college football history after claiming a record seventh title following Alabama's 52-24 rout of Ohio State.

Top-ranked Alabama (13-0) were too strong for number three Ohio State (7-1) in Monday's College Football Playoff National Championship at Hard Rock Stadium.

Saban – who celebrated his first crown in 2003 – surpassed Paul Bryant for the most national championships, with six of those titles coming during his 14 seasons at the helm of Alabama.

"I'm just happy we won tonight," the 68-year-old said amid the celebrations post-game. "And I really haven't thought about that 'cause you're always looking forward.

"And I just love this team so much and what they've been able to do. I can't put it into words."

Saban added: "To me this is the ultimate team. There is more togetherness on this team than on almost any team we've ever had. They've had to overcome and to persevere so much through this season, and they have done it magnificently."

Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith flexed his muscles in a stellar display in Miami Gardens, Florida before suffering a hand injury in the third quarter.

Smith – in his final college appearance as he prepares for the NFL – had 12 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half as Alabama claimed a 35-17 lead at the interval.

Th 22-year-old recorded 200-plus receiving yards and three-plus touchdown catches for the third time this season, tying Davante Adams (2013) for the most such games by any FBS player in any of the last 25 seasons, according to Stats Perform.

Smith also broke the South Eastern Conference's single-season receiving yards record as he was named Offensive Most Valuable Player.

Alabama quarterback Mac Jones also dazzled, becoming the first QB to complete 80.0-plus per cent of his passes for 450-plus yards and five-plus touchdowns in a bowl game since NC State's Philip Rivers in 2003.

Jones finished 36-of-45 passing for 464 yards, five TDs and no interceptions, while Ohio State counterpart Justin Field was 17 of 33 for 194 yards and a TD.

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